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Celebrate FRCOG’s 20th Anniversary!

We are pleased to announce that July 1, 2017, marked the FRCOG’s 20th birthday.  In the two decades since the FRCOG Charter was enacted by vote of all 26 Franklin County towns, we have been honored to work on behalf of all of you on many diverse projects, including town accounting, brownfields redevelopment, teen substance abuse prevention, health and building inspection, and planning for healthy and vibrant communities.  All summer we will be celebrating our history of working together as a region by digging into our archives to highlight what the towns of Franklin County have achieved together through the FRCOG.  You can follow our daily posts of historical milestones on Facebook  and on Twitter

Not on social media? You can see the posts here: 20th anniversary posts up to July 12

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please plan to join us on Friday, September 8, in the afternoon for a celebration and Open House (more details TBD)

FRCOG’s front office in the Courthouse… now the District Attorney’s office.

Our staff in the early 1990s, when we were still the Franklin County Commission.

Our staff in 2014 at our new home in the John Olver Transit Center

Summer Reading: FRCOG 2016 Annual Reports are available online

FRCOG’s Annual Reports for 2016 are online and available!

Click here to see the full regional report.

Click here to find  your town’s appendix. These appendices include just the town-specific work done, and were distributed to each town bound into the back of the full Regional Report.

COG staff member Bob Dean’s photo of Zerah Fiske Road in Shelburne – a location used in the movie The Judge

The Town of Montague’s new skate park at Unity Park

Franklin County/North Quabbin Community Health Improvement Plan

On April 7 the FRCOG was pleased to host a broad group of community based organizations, health care providers, local and state government representatives, school officials, and public health professionals for the release of the region’s first Community Health Improvement Plan, in conjunction with the release of the 2017 National County Health Rankings. The FRCOG has been working for over a year with a dozen other organizations to assess health needs, identify evidence-based interventions, and prioritize strategies. 

To review the Community Health Improvement Plan, a list of the partners,  and the slides from April 7, visit: http://frcog.org/program-services/regionalization-special-projects/chip/

For more information on the County Health Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org 

United Way’s Sandy Sayers introduces the CHIP.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center CEO Cindy Russo reviews the CHIP’s clinical care priorities.

Representative Paul Mark on legislation to improve health outcomes.


Opioid Task Force Complementary Medicine Meeting Materials

Below are the handouts and presentations from the 3/3/17 Healthcare Solutions and Treatment & Recovery Committees joint meeting on the effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Substance Use Disorder.

Karen Adams Acupuncture Presentation to OTF 3-3-17

OTF_CAM_LiteratureReviewPres

CAM handout 2: Further Reading on CAM for SUD

CAM handout 3: Acupuncture Evidence in Plain Language

CAM handout 1: Acupuncture Research

New Accounting Software Required

As it turns out, the rumors we kept hearing were true!  We received official notice that the Fundware accounting software used by the FRCOG and by the regional Town Accounting Program will no longer be maintained or supported by its parent company, Blackbaud, beyond December 31, 2017.  Staff are actively examining options for a post-Fundware operation, including searching for grant funds to pay transition costs, and considering opportunities for additional electronic efficiency improvements to modernize the Program.

To date, Accounting Program staff have viewed demonstrations of four different accounting software programs and are evaluating each in relation to the accounting needs of the Program member towns.  Throughout the process we are searching for software that is easy to use, improves staff efficiency while using the software, and continues to allow member towns with populations under 2,000 residents to benefit from the software without needing to purchase their own expensive software licenses.  With Fundware, all towns are able to participate in the Program under the umbrella of the FRCOG’s master license.

FRCOG has applied for state grant funding to purchase accounting and cash management software to be used for the benefit of all Program towns.  Individual software licenses can be prohibitively expensive for small town budgets.  Grant funding will help us modernize our accounting software and add cash management software that will help streamline the cash reconciliation process by more quickly and accurately sharing data between the town treasurer and the accountant.

Additionally, the grant application requests funding for consulting assistance to help develop and implement additional electronic efficiencies that will allow the Program to evolve into a more efficient centrally-located operation.  More robust software should offer the opportunity to improve efficiencies and help modernize the Program’s operation so we can spend less time traveling and more time doing accounting work for our towns.  We should hear whether or not we will receive the grant before the end of December, 2016.

Flu Clinic Schedule

Flu season is here — do your part to build community immunity!  For information on the symptoms and treatment of influenza, and information about the vaccine, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Ready to get your vaccination?  The eleven towns of the Cooperative Public Health Service health district have released their regional flu clinic schedule!

To download a flyer for a particular clinic:
all-flu-clinics-poster-2016-v3
gill-flu-clinic
leyden-flu-clinics
mohawk-flu-clinic
shelburne-flu-clinic
charlemont-hawley-flu-clinics
charlemont-hawley-flu-and-rabies  (just the 10/29 date)
conway-flu-clinics
deerfield-flu-clinics

all-flu-clinics-poster-2016-v3

cphs-fy17-members-by-type

FRCOG Program Updates

Interested in learning a bit more about what has been happening here at the FRCOG in the last three months? Check out the updates presented to our Council members on July 21:

Click here for July 2016 Updates

Coalition Educates on Youth Marijuana Use

In November, MA residents will vote on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  Whether or not this legislation passes – and how this legislation is implemented if passed – will have a significant impact on the use of marijuana by young people.  The FRCOG’s Partnership for Youth, as part of their work with the Communities That Care Coalition, has developed a presentation on what we know about the effects of marijuana on young people, and what works in preventing youth use.  Partnership for Youth staff have provided this presentation at several community venues this spring, including as part of the Selectboard Essentials series.

In July staff hosted a “Training of Trainers” where they trained a small group of community leaders (including staff from Clinical and Support Options, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greenfield’s Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, and the Collaborative for Educational Services) to be part of an informal Speakers Bureau on this topic.  If you are interested in learning more or in setting up a presentation for your community, please contact Kat at kallen@frcog.org.

Rural Policy Advisory Commission kicks off in Greenfield

Massachusetts’ new Rural Policy Commission held its first meeting at the Olver Transit Center recently.  Franklin County representatives on the Commission include our own Linda Dunlavy (who was elected Treasurer) and local realtor Corinne Fitzgerald.

The Commission will serve as a research body for issues critical to the welfare and vitality of rural communities and, according to its creating legislation, shall: study, review and report on the status of rural communities and residents in the commonwealth; advise the general court and the executive branch of the impact of existing and proposed state laws, policies and regulations on rural communities; advance legislative and policy solutions that address rural needs; advocate to ensure that rural communities receive a fair share of state investment; promote collaboration among rural communities to improve efficiency in delivery of services; and develop and support new leadership in rural communities.

The Commissioners decided to organize into four subcommittees and to meet again in September. Interested in learning more about what the Commission will do? Check out the webpage here.

Presentation on Rural MA June 10 2016

Recorder article about the event

Commission Members are sworn in.

Commission Members are sworn in.

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.